Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.


Ramona owns a flower shop, and flowers surround the houses in the novel. Moses' house in the country is flanked by overgrown and disordered flowers. Moses' ability to find beauty in these flowers symbolizes his ability to understand the beauty of a disordered world.


Ramona's aunt owns a beautiful clock that symbolizes, for Moses, the stability and organization Moses would like the have. Like many objects and ideas in the novel, the clock is a contradiction, for it symbolizes both modernity and antiquity.

The House

Moses' house in the country is symbolic of Moses himself and of the themes of the novel. The house is burdensome, isolated, and filled with memories in the form of objects visitors and inhabitants have left behind. It is also surrounded by the beauty of nature. Moses, like the house, is burdensome, isolated, and plagued by memories, but the beauty of the world surrounds him.